Dubai as Gateway for Malaysian Furniture to the Middle East

The Malaysian Furniture Promotion Council (MFPC) will make its inaugural appearance at the International Middle East Furniture, Interior Design and Shopfitting Exhibition (INDEX) series in Dubai, UAE from 22 – 26 September 2004.

“Index is the largest event of its kind in the Middle East and is held annually at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre with national Pavilions from Asia, Europe, America and the Far East alongside companies from fifty countries who will take part at this year’s event.” says Paul Wang, Chief Operating Officer of the MFPC in a statement issued today.

The MFPC has been appointed as the sole organiser of the Malaysian pavilion measuring 8,000 square feet in collaboration with the Malaysian Furniture Industry Council (MFIC), as the trade association representing Malaysian furniture manufacturers and exporters.

Established in September 2003, the MFPC is tasked with promoting and further developing the Malaysian furniture industry as a global furniture player.  As the most important export-orientated furniture event of the Middle East, INDEX Dubai comes top
in the MFPC’s agenda as the avenue for Malaysian furniture to consolidate its stronghold as a favourite source country of furniture to the region.

The Malaysian pavilion will house 28 furniture companies who will exhibit a wide selection of Malaysian made furniture for both the home and office.  Malaysia’s offering at Index 2004 is targeted at B2B markets taking into account the Middle Eastern values, culture and environment and the fact that the exhibition will be attended by furniture trade buyers from all over the GCC.

“A common highlight on Malaysian furniture is its price competitiveness. While price factor had been central in elevating our presence in the Middle East and the rest of the world, there is actually much more to Malaysian furniture than its price attraction. Our participation at the INDEX Dubai seeks to rectify this common perception by presenting the best Malaysian manufacturers to meet the need of the Middle East market,” says Wang.

Malaysia has achieved recognition as the 10th largest furniture exporter in the world and its furniture can be found in over 160 countries around the world. Producing a wide variety of furniture types, Malaysian furniture manufacturers have been globally accepted as possibly the most reliable and efficient partner in the furniture world today.

INDEX Dubai 2004 is a channel for the MFPC’s approach in realising its vision to effectively establish Malaysia as a globally recognised source of world-class furniture in the medium to high end markets.

 “Having plied the low to medium end markets for the past decade and a half, it is now time for us to move away and upwards towards the more lucrative segments, where the price factor is only secondary in decision making. Image and designs take over in these markets and therefore, export promotion, being the flagship of the MFPC, has a foundation in the enhancement of our furniture image and designs.” Wang adds.

The MFPC mediates the evaluation of existing markets and exploration of new markets. In keeping up with the dynamics of the world furniture styles and trends, the MFPC nurtures young talents and grooms potential furniture designers to propagate the creation of international furniture designs by Malaysians.

Through its programmes under the Market Enhancement and Design Enhancement Departments, the MFPC works closely with Government Ministries and agencies as well as the industry in order that its efforts will bring forth the desired results in the years to come.

The furniture industry has been touted as the star performer in the Malaysian timber-based sector, accounting for over 30% of the entire sector’s contribution to the country’s foreign exchange earning. Last year alone the industry recorded an export value of RM 5.8 billion, a far cry from just RM 26 million it earned in 1986.

In light of this aptitude, the MFPC plays the role as a specialised taskforce to position Malaysia as a global focal point for furniture in Asia and uplift the image of Malaysian furniture as a whole.